We are just hours away from the big reveal. Sony has scheduled a press event in New York City at 6pm (ET) today, and the world’s tech media is sure that the Japanese electronics giant is ready to announce the PlayStation 4. The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that the new home console will feature an ability to stream games over the internet.
One of the biggest worry of any new console launch is, will the new console play games from the old console, and in this case will the PlayStation 4 be compatible with PlayStation 3 games? Early rumours suggested no, which would have been a major blow to PlayStation fans, but the rumour of an internet streaming service suggests that backward compatibility may be available after all.
Sony recently purchased Gaikai, a specialist in cloud gaming that allows users to play top PC and console games over the internet via live streaming. However, even though there are some rumours that all games (even new ones) on the PlayStation 4 will be streamed, it seems more likely that Sony will use a cloud based system to give the PS4 backward compatibility.
This system could actually be a money spinner for Sony. For example, if a PS4 owner wants to play a game from the PS3 on their new console they will have to stream it and likely pay for that service. The user would have to pay even if they had previously bought a physical copy for the PlayStation 3. Also a streaming based system would eliminate pirate copies of PS3 games being used.
We will now wait until later today to see exactly what Sony has planned for the PlayStation 4. The company could also bring the new streaming service to other products, such as the PS Vita and the PlayStation 3.